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Road rant Part 1


StuGotz

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Bear with me here. Not really a rant, but a question perhaps the LEO'S among us may care to comment on...from another perspective, since they live it everyday.

 

For years I've commuted from the Bay Area to the Central Valley in California. I get to watch highway projects along the way from start to completion. And since the commute is almost always on the bike, I get to experience all the road hazards that come with these changes. And when the roads are completed, it is often for the better. But this one has gone backwards, IMO.

 

Highway 84. From Sunol to Livermore. Some of you may have been on it. Used to be a mix of two lane twisty and straight, kinda out in the country stuff. I used to make time on it, creatively of course.. ;)

 

Now it's different. Two lanes go to 4 lanes, no more twisties. They pretty much straightened it out. Cut a slot right through the mountains. A mild grade up, then the grade down. And the speed limit for this stretch is 50. Now, mind you, a person could do 70 easily, since there is no residential in the area, no cross roads, really no hazards. And since they opened it a few months back, that's exactly what everyone is doing. Problem is, now LEO'S are enforcing the speed limit. Heavily. And during commute hours. And kinda tying up traffic a bit.

 

In other words, what's the purpose of enforcement at this time? Is the honeymoon over? I've never seen an accident there, but sure have seen a lot of tickets being written ( CHP and the local city ). Couldn't the road dept. have used BIG orange signs to educate before we started generating revenue?

 

I mean jeez, it seems like easy money right now. This stretch of road is better than most freeways I drive on..Kinda reminds me of that stretch from Mt Hood to Portland I was on last summer. A football field across and 4 lanes at 50mph :dopeslap:

 

Not that I'm in a hurry or anything. :grin:

 

MB>

 

 

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Many times after a newly constucted road is opened we see speed limits less than what you would expect from the number of lanes and apparent "highway like" drive

 

BUT here's the but... State and Federal speed limit mandates apply when certain construction and engineering elements are built with the road like an attached sidewalk, the type of curbing,(if it's type f and or g curbing with the built in drains for rain water run off) etc etc etc. So you see depending on what "accessories" the new road has determines what the Feds and State mandate the max speed limit can be.

 

Ever see curbing on the interstate right on the roadway edge? It may have a gaurdrail but certainly no curb.

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CVC 22358.5 states (roughly) that if 85% of the traffic is going X mph then the limit can't be less that X mph minus 5 mph.

 

http://www.co.tulare.ca.us/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=3690

 

On 218 the limit was raised just for that reason. You may have driven on it if you got off HWY 1 in Seaside to go to Laguna Seca. It travels thru Del Rey Oaks and they were having a field day on race days.

 

 

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Highway 84 is a major shortcut to avoid the 580/680 bottleneck during the morning and afternoon commutes. That 50mph limit has to be based on an engineering and speed survey conducted by a traffic engineer. (40802aCVC) The limit has to be justified as being reasonable based on what 85% of the traffic is traveling at. If that 85th percentile is averaging more than 5 mph faster than the posted speed limit, the law requires the limit be raised another 5 mph. There are exceptions however and that is accident rates. If the collision rates is high, the 5 mph rule does not apply because the engineer can show other factors to justify the lower speed limit. Although I do not have personal knowledge of the collisions out there, I do know the road has been known for some high profile fatal head-ons. High volumes of fast moving, in a rush, commuter traffic without a center median or barrier between on-coming tarffic is a recipe for horrific collisions. Vasco Road is another example that is similar to 84. If you are curious, ask to a see a copy of the survey to find out why 50 mph is justified. Such records are available to the public and maintained by the public works department in Alameda County.

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I ditto the comment on new roads. Folks will drive fast then normal, guess they are attempting to find the norm. We have hit new open roads hard. Once folks calm down, I am sure enforcement will slow down.

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Boy it that 85th percentile study is right.....The speed limit from Sac to La should be something like 95 on I5..

Speed and engineering surveys are not required on roadways with speed limits at or above 65mph.

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DaveTheAffable

It's not always up to the LEO's where they spend their 'time'. Sometimes it's discretionary, other times they're instructed to "go enforce the law on Highway ##."

 

As said above, they may have been instructed to enforce there for any number of reasons that are not obvious to you and I. (No... I'm not going to get into the 'revenue' argument.)

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CVC 22358.5 states (roughly) that if 85% of the traffic is going X mph then the limit can't be less that X mph minus 5 mph.

 

http://www.co.tulare.ca.us/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=3690

 

On 218 the limit was raised just for that reason. You may have driven on it if you got off HWY 1 in Seaside to go to Laguna Seca. It travels thru Del Rey Oaks and they were having a field day on race days.

 

 

I drive it all the time. Yesterday in fact. For the last 15+ years, the speed limit on 218 was and is now 45mph. It has not changed. What have changed are the Del Rey Oaks LEO tactics on that road. They finally started getting spanked in court for "speed trap" tactics, so the "extra vigorous" style of enforcement slowed some...

Now that you mention it, they did change the speed limit within the Seaside City Limit portion of the road, due to redesign of turn lanes and additional traffic loading (shopping centers) between Hwy 1 and Fremont Blvd. They reduced it.

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